The Squid's Ear Magazine


Strictly Missionary (Pitsiokos / Eisenberg / Lenz / Murray / Neuburg): Heisse Scheisse [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Skronky multi-faceted NY Downtown-style improvisation with an electric edge from the quintet of Chris Pitsiokis on alto sax, winds, electronics & samples, Wendy Eisenberg on electric guitar, Richard Lenz on electric bass, Kevin Murray on acoustic & electronic drums and Nick Neuburg on percussion, rolling and rollicking through riffs and scrabbly exploration.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Chris Pitsiokos-alto saxophone, voice, electronics, recorder, whistle, harmonica, samples

Wendy Eisenberg-electric guitar

Richard Lenz-electric bass

Kevin Murray-drums, percussion, electronic drums

Nick Neuburg-percussion


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Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS182
Squidco Product Code: 31167

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Seizures Palace in Brooklyn, New York, in February, 2021, by Jason Lafarge, and in Brooklyn, New York, in February and March, 2021, by Chris Pitsiokos.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"It has been a while since I've heard an outside skronky rock-inflected jazz album quite like this. Naked City, Captain Beefheart, Henry Cow...comparisons are possible but don't quite hit the mark. Strictly Missionary is a genuine supergroup of NYC-based creative musicians, including guitarist Wendy Eisenberg (who seems to be everywhere these days, do they sleep?), saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, bassist Richard Lenz, drummer Kevin Murray, and percussionist Nick Neuburg. Pitsiokos also contributes electronics, recorder, whistle, harmonica, and drum samples.

At its best moments - throughout most of the album in fact - Heisse Scheisse is joyous chaos. The quintet seems to relish playing two or three different overlapping pieces of music. Case in point, "Lapsarian" begins with a labyrinthine riff-like structure that rapidly deteriorates into Eisenberg and Neuburg heading in their own directions. After a relatively calm and short interlude, Pitsiokos and Eisenberg both solo at the same time, but in an orthogonal fashion, before the overall structure is loosened once again to a more free-form exploration.

This simultaneous adherence to form and discarding thereof is not easy to pull off, but is found throughout the album. Eisenberg, in particular, drives the group from within by way of gritty tone, speed picking, and note bending. Pitsiokis's wailing on the recorder and whistle just adds to the weirdness. Elements of punk, funk, electronica, and blues pop up now and then. Nothing is out of bounds for Strictly Missionary.

Heisse Scheisse is information-dense, creative, and just plain fun. [...]"-Mike, Avant Music News

Also available on cassette + download.

Artist Biographies

"Chris Pitsiokos (b. 1990) is a saxophonist, composer, and improviser. His music combines the intensity and immediacy of extreme rock forms and noise with the lyricism and forward propulsion of jazz and the abstract detail of contemporary classical composers Iannis Xenakis and Helmut Lachenmann. Chris has had the opportunity to perform/collaborate with Lydia Lunch, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans, Kevin Shea, Brian Chase, Henry Kaiser, Mick Barr, Marc Edwards, Brandon Seabrook, Paul Lytton, Tim Dahl, Philip White, Guerilla Toss, C. Spencer Yeh, Ikue Mori, Nate Wooley and Weasel Walter. Chris has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, and the US. His records can be found on Clean Feed, New Atlantis, One Hand Records, Carrier Records, Ug Explode, and his own imprint, Eleatic Records. In addition to performing and composing music, Chris was a long time DJ at WKCR-FM and has been producing concerts in Brooklyn and Manhattan for four years."

-Chris Pitsiokos Website (http://www.chrispitsiokos.com/bio.html)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Wendy Eisenberg is an improvising guitarist, banjo-player, vocalist and poet. Using the languages of free jazz, new music, extreme metal and art song, her music sets to pose and expose the questions surrounding the human body in the world and the representational and technical demands placed on it in artistic practice.

She has written and performed in numerous projects, including the critically acclaimed experimental band, Birthing Hips, described by NPR as "brainy, noisy punk based in sonic adventure, technical mastery, and rejection of the status quo." Her work as an improviser has led to collaborations with Ted Reichman, Joe Morris, Damon Smith, John Zorn, Travis LaPlante and Zach Rowden, among many others. Eisenberg has premiered work by John Zorn, Maria Schneider, and Bill Holman, as well as the work of her many peers.

In addition to her work as a collaborative artist, she has two solo careers: improviser/composer, and songwriter. Wendy's debut record as an improviser will come out on the esteemed label VDSQ in 2018. Her "songs" album, Time Machine, released on HEC Tapes in April 2017, will be re-released on Feeding Tube records in the spring, and she is slated to release a new song cycle summer 2018.

Wendy has provided soundtrack work for the scientific projects of MIT Media Lab fellow and scientist-artist Ani Liu. Her poetry has been set into a large scale work by Matt Curlee, premiered at the Eastman School of Music in 2014. Her writings on music can be found in John Zorn's Arcana VIII: Musicians on Music, and on the websites Jazz Right Now and Free Jazz Blog."

-Wendy Eisenberg Website (https://www.wendyeisenberg.com/bio/)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Richard Lenz, born in Amsterdam, started to play the guitar at the age of nine. In the Netherlands Richard studied at the Conservatorium in Alkmaar with Tamara Kropat and subsequently at the Conservatorium in Rotterdam with Dick Hoogeveen.

He won two scholarships to help him further his studies overseas in Wales. As a student of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Richard undertook his postgraduate studies in Cardiff with guitarist John Mills and also studied period performance practice, visiting early music specialist Nigel North in London. Throughout his studies, Richard played in numerous festivals and master classes with many of the world's leading guitarists.

Richard has appeared in recitals both as a soloist and in various ensembles, including a Royal Performance. He has written many works for guitar solo, duet and ensemble and his compositions receive regular airplay on ABC Classic FM.

Richard resides in Western Australia and maintains a busy performance and tuition schedule. He is the director of several award-winning guitar ensembles and has acted as an adjudicator in addition to being an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board and the UWA Conservatorium of Music.

Richard also performs on historic guitars and other (guitar related) plucked stringed instruments."

-Duo Lenz Website (http://www.duolenz.com/?fbclid=IwAR3RDG7pm_dc0cGMGi0yVfDRDPxSVN0DpyD9PBehofCHfu7wD6jkPFrUy_Q)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Kevin Murray is a NYC-based drummer, improvisor, and organizer. He has worked with Joe Morris, T.J. Borden, William Winant, Eddie Gale, Arrington de Dionyso, Peter Kuhn, Ava Mendoza, Rent Romus, Dave Sewelson, Cooper-Moore, Nicole Mitchell, Jackson Krall, Chris Pitsiokos, Elinor Speirs, and others. Frequent collaborators include William Parker, gabby fluke-mogul, Tom Weeks, James McKain, Drew Wesely, Aaron Rubinstein, Kaelen Ghandhi, as well as Elaine the Singer, a side project of math-rock duo Floral that will be releasing their debut LP in 2020."

-Kevin Murray Website (https://kevinmurraymusic.com/about/)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Nick Neuburg is in Dog Suicide, Billy's Boys, Limey Girls 1019, and many other various projects. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Music Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. His background as both a performer and teacher includes jazz, classical, rock, country, R&B, hip-hop, latin music, and improvised music.

-Squidco 6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. The Shy Song

2. Lenz's Law

3. Lapsarian

4. Noise Disco 06:26

SIDE B



1. Battle of Petty Hill

2. New Guy

Related Categories of Interest:



Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Quintet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Astral Spirits.


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The Squid's Ear Magazine

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